Arbella Raises Nearly $62,000 for Hunger Relief Program in New England
Let’s Drive Out Hunger Campaign Matches Donations of 88 Independent Agents; Supports More Than 60 Different Food Pantries
QUINCY, Mass., March 20, 2012– The Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation (“Arbella”)announced today that the fourth year of its “Let’s Drive Out Hunger” campaign has raised $61,775 to help combat New England’s growing hunger issue. The initiative centers on a matching gift program in which Arbella matches donations from any of its nearly 500 independent agents on a two-to-one basis. This year, a total of 88 different agents participated in the campaign, one of several that the Foundation supports to help alleviate hunger across the state.
“Hunger in New England is an issue which continues to increase in severity, and in order to combat it, we all must work together,” said John Donohue, chairman, president and CEO of the Arbella Insurance Group and chairman and president of the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation. “We are very proud of our Let’s Drive Out Hunger program and humbled by the generosity of our agents. By combining our contribution with theirs, we are committed to bringing communities together to make a real difference.”
More than 60 different food pantries across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire received donations this year from the Let’s Drive Out Hunger campaign, including Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry in Chicopee, My Brother’s Table in Lynn, Open Table in Concord, the CEOC Food Pantry in Cambridge, the Salvation Army in Newport, Rhode Island and New Hampshire’s Share Outreach.
Over the past four years, the Arbella Insurance Group and its Foundation, along with partner agents, have contributed more than $282,000 to help many of the 400 emergency food programs, soup kitchens, food pantries and food banks across 130 New England communities. With the program, Arbella gives participating agents the opportunity to donate to local food pantries within their own communities.
“Arbella’s Let’s Drive Out Hunger program is helping to nourish the bodies and souls of those truly in need,” said Charles Nahatis, an agent at Cape Anne Insurance Agency, Inc., who donated to Open Door Food Pantry in Gloucester, MA. “We are proud to be involved in this initiative and are grateful for the unique opportunity Arbella’ has given us to help fight hunger within the communities in which we live.”
The problem of food security is an increasingly prevalent issue across the Bay State area. A 2010 Greater Boston Food Bank study, which is updated every four years, reported that one in nine members of the Greater Boston community is at risk of hunger. Moreover, the agency reported a 23% increase in requests for food assistance since 2005.
Similarly, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service found that between 2008 and 2010, 10.8 percent of Massachusetts households were designated as food insecure, meaning they lacked consistent access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods. Furthermore, The Project Bread Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts 2011 found that many of these food insecure households contain children who are not receiving adequate nutrition. In 2009, a staggering 18 percent of all Massachusetts children lived in food insecure households, the report says.
Let’s Drive Out Hunger is just one of several initiatives Arbella is leading to fight hunger and increase access to nutritious food for families and individuals in Massachusetts. Other projects with which Arbella and its Foundation are involved in the fight towards hunger include support of Father Bill’s and MainSpring, sponsorship of Interfaith Social Services (ISS) and employee and agent participation in Project Bread’s annual Walk for Hunger.
Food insecurity is a widespread issue affecting millions at a national level. According to a 2010 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, 48.8 million Americans live in food insecure households. The agency’s Economic Research Service report, issued in September 2011, revealed that 14.5 percent of all American households have been food insecure at least once during 2010, including 5.4 percent with very low food security. Furthermore, the USDA found that in 2010 5.6 million households accessed emergency food from a food pantry at least once.
About the Arbella Insurance Group and the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation
Established in 1988, the Arbella Insurance Group is a company with more than $600M in revenue with approximately $1B in assets, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts. Arbella is a customer-focused regional property and casualty insurance company, providing personal and business insurance products including car insurance, home insurance, and umbrella insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and business insurance in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Arbella Insurance Group founded the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation in 2004. The mission of the Foundation is to engage in activities and to support not-for-profit organizations that have a significant positive impact on the people and communities served by Arbella.
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